Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association


Hypertension is the most common condition seen in primary care and leads to myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, and death if not detected early and treated appropriately. Patients want to be assured that blood pressure (BP) treatment will reduce their disease burden, while clinicians want guidance on hypertension management using the best scientific evidence. This report takes a rigorous, evidence-based approach to recommend treatment thresholds, goals, and medications in the management of hypertension in adults. Evidence was drawn from randomized controlled trials, which represent the gold standard for determining efficacy and effectiveness. Evidence quality and recommendations were graded based on their effect on important outcomes. There is strong evidence to support treating hypertensive persons aged 60 years or older to a BP goal of less than 150/90 mm Hg and hypertensive persons 30 through 59 years of age to a diastolic goal of less than 90 mm Hg; however, there is insufficient evidence in hypertensive persons younger than 60 years for a systolic goal, or in those younger than 30 years for a diastolic goal, so the panel recommends a BP of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those groups based on expert opinion. The same thresholds and goals are recommended for hypertensive adults with diabetes or nondiabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD) as for the general hypertensive population younger than 60 years. There is moderate evidence to support initiating drug treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin receptor blocker, calcium channel blocker, or thiazide-type diuretic in the nonblack hypertensive population, including those with diabetes. In the black hypertensive population, including those with diabetes, a calcium channel blocker or thiazide-type diuretic is recommended as initial therapy. There is moderate evidence to support initial or add-on antihypertensive therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker in persons with CKD to improve kidney outcomes. Although this guideline provides evidence-based recommendations for the management of high BP and should meet the clinical needs of most patients, these recommendations are not a substitute for clinical judgment, and decisions about care must carefully consider and incorporate the clinical characteristics and circumstances of each individual patient.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Stroke, Blood pressure, Renin-angiotensin system, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, ACE inhibitor


Estimates of the relative mortality risks associated with normal weight, overweight, and obesity may help to inform decision making in the clinical setting.

Concepts: Decision making, Medical statistics, Risk, Obesity, Mass, Body mass index, Decision theory, Body shape


More than one-third of adults and 17% of youth in the United States are obese, although the prevalence remained stable between 2003-2004 and 2009-2010.

Concepts: Obesity, United States


Many claims have been made regarding the superiority of one diet or another for inducing weight loss. Which diet is best remains unclear.

Concepts: Cancer, Nutrition, Obesity, Physical exercise, Overweight, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Dieting


IMPORTANCE In older adults reduced mobility is common and is an independent risk factor for morbidity, hospitalization, disability, and mortality. Limited evidence suggests that physical activity may help prevent mobility disability; however, there are no definitive clinical trials examining whether physical activity prevents or delays mobility disability. OBJECTIVE To test the hypothesis that a long-term structured physical activity program is more effective than a health education program (also referred to as a successful aging program) in reducing the risk of major mobility disability. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study was a multicenter, randomized trial that enrolled participants between February 2010 and December 2011, who participated for an average of 2.6 years. Follow-up ended in December 2013. Outcome assessors were blinded to the intervention assignment. Participants were recruited from urban, suburban, and rural communities at 8 centers throughout the United States. We randomized a volunteer sample of 1635 sedentary men and women aged 70 to 89 years who had physical limitations, defined as a score on the Short Physical Performance Battery of 9 or below, but were able to walk 400 m. INTERVENTIONS Participants were randomized to a structured, moderate-intensity physical activity program (n = 818) conducted in a center (twice/wk) and at home (3-4 times/wk) that included aerobic, resistance, and flexibility training activities or to a health education program (n = 817) consisting of workshops on topics relevant to older adults and upper extremity stretching exercises. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was major mobility disability objectively defined by loss of ability to walk 400 m. RESULTS Incident major mobility disability occurred in 30.1% (246 participants) of the physical activity group and 35.5% (290 participants) of the health education group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.82 [95% CI, 0.69-0.98], P = .03).Persistent mobility disability was experienced by 120 participants (14.7%) in the physical activity group and 162 participants (19.8%) in the health education group (HR, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.57-0.91]; P = .006). Serious adverse events were reported by 404 participants (49.4%) in the physical activity group and 373 participants (45.7%) in the health education group (risk ratio, 1.08 [95% CI, 0.98-1.20]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE A structured, moderate-intensity physical activity program compared with a health education program reduced major mobility disability over 2.6 years among older adults at risk for disability. These findings suggest mobility benefit from such a program in vulnerable older adults. TRIAL REGISTRATION Identifier: NCT01072500.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Medical statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Efficacy, Stretching


Many patients and physicians assume that the safety and effectiveness of newly approved therapeutic agents is well understood; however, the strength of the clinical trial evidence supporting approval decisions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not been evaluated.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Clinical trial, The Canon of Medicine, Effectiveness, Avicenna,, Food and Drug Administration


January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first surgeon general’s report on smoking and health. This seminal document inspired efforts by governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to reduce the toll of cigarette smoking through reduced initiation and increased cessation.

Concepts: United States, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine


Although vitamin E and memantine have been shown to have beneficial effects in moderately severe Alzheimer disease (AD), evidence is limited in mild to moderate AD.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Clinical trial, Effect, Randomized controlled trial, Effects unit, Memantine, Donepezil, Rivastigmine


Bilateral mastectomy is increasingly used to treat unilateral breast cancer. Because it may have medical and psychosocial complications, a better understanding of its use and outcomes is essential to optimizing cancer care.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Breast, Mastectomy


Clinical decisions should be based on the totality of the best evidence and not the results of individual studies. When clinicians apply the results of a systematic review or meta-analysis to patient care, they should start by evaluating the credibility of the methods of the systematic review, ie, the extent to which these methods have likely protected against misleading results. Credibility depends on whether the review addressed a sensible clinical question; included an exhaustive literature search; demonstrated reproducibility of the selection and assessment of studies; and presented results in a useful manner. For reviews that are sufficiently credible, clinicians must decide on the degree of confidence in the estimates that the evidence warrants (quality of evidence). Confidence depends on the risk of bias in the body of evidence; the precision and consistency of the results; whether the results directly apply to the patient of interest; and the likelihood of reporting bias. Shared decision making requires understanding of the estimates of magnitude of beneficial and harmful effects, and confidence in those estimates.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Decision making, Critical thinking, Patient, Evaluation, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review